Is Vandalism the Right Answer to Lack of Parking Etiquettes in Pakistan?

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In the past couple of days, I have noticed a lot of vandalism cases in Pakistan appearing on social media. And the overwhelming positive response on them forced me to write something on this matter.

Before I discuss my reservations and findings are on this matter, I would like to state that this article is just a part of my personal take on this whole situation.

So, what is Vandalism?

As reported by Reference.com, vandalism includes altering or defacing road signs and spray painting a person’s property with the intent of disfiguring it. Other forms of vandalism include scratching paint off another person’s car, defacing public benches and walls with graffiti, and breaking someone’s windows.

So the bottom line is, if somebody is damaging the public or private property deliberately, it is called vandalism. (So for the sake of this article, I will be discussing this law for two cases)

Case-1:

As some of the readers might have seen the pictures of a new Honda Civic with a lot of deep-scratches on almost all of its body (exterior); that readers is ‘Vandalism’ in a nutshell.

According to the amendments in Sections 427, 428, 429 & 435 of the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 Report # 57 any acts of mischief by damaging or destroying property or killing animals is punishable.

Case-2:

Alright, now that we know that Pakistan’s law addresses ‘Vandalism’; what about the deliberate cases of wrong parking and causing other people harm or blocking the roads for no apparent reason?

The answer to this question falls in the ‘Grey Area’ as opposed too black and white. I was having a chat on this issue with a lawyer and he said:

Although you get the result and satisfaction by acting instantly, taking law in your hand is always frowned upon and in majority of the cases it will backfire on you. So it is advised to be cautious and call the Police in these sort of situations

So the primary reason; why I mentioned this ‘Grey Area’ is because of the Jinnah Superstore Parking case, where a driver parked his car in the middle of the exit lane and left to do his own shopping, which caused issues for a lot of people stuck inside the parking.

I believe that a person can deal with these sort of irresponsible drivers in the following three ways as reported by Life hacker:

i: Before You do Anything, Calm Down!

First things first, calm down and think about the situation rationally. You don’t always know what happened and why, even if it seems like the person was simply a sloppy parker. If you can assume the worst of people, you can take a moment to assume the best as well.

ii: Inform the Parker About their Infraction

Lots of people pull this sort of stunts in a lot of countries and it does not mean that people just go out and write on their car. That is wrong and it can get you in trouble. As I mentioned above; deliberate harm to any private property is punishable by law of Pakistan. So writing on someone’s car (With a permanent/non-permanent marker) is liable to punishment.

Instead, it is more appropriate to write a message on a piece of paper and stick it on the windscreen wiper. Because let’s be honest, entering in a confrontation with an irrational person could end poorly, the worst of which is violence. It’s unlikely you’ll convince the guilty party to change their ways in the moment, so your ideal goal should be to supply them with a message so that they could understand what they did was wrong.

iii: Call the Police

If you’re in a parking lot, chances are, it is privately owned by the neighbouring store or another company with posted contact information. This means you have a means of filing a complaint. And if by some unfortunate circumstances, that information is not readily available, then don’t hesitate to call the Police. Because, one call can take longer to merit the response of a mobile squad. A group of people stuck inside a parking place calling for help is definitely going to get the desired result.

Nonetheless, these state institutions are made for the sole purpose of keeping law and order in the country, so I personally believe that calling them in this situation is really the best solution.

Final Thoughts:

Case-1:

Damaging somebody’s property just for the sake of a laugh is a very despicable behaviour. And to top it off, if reported: this activity is punishable. This sort of attitude on taking pleasure by harming somebody’s property should be frowned upon and we (collectively) need to spread awareness to curb this attitude.

Case-2:

While I understand the inconvenience caused by the wrongly parked cars; a lot of time-taking matters into your own hands is not the answer. Calm down and think about the situation rationally, because taking matters into your own hands can potentially backfire on you. More importantly, I believe lauding this sort of behavior is not ethically right, because these sort of issues can be avoided by organizing campaigns on driving etiquettes from Traffic Police, educating people and putting up complaint facilitation centers by parking plaza owners.

And finally I can present the answer of my question ‘Is Vandalism the Right Answer to Lack of Parking Etiquettes in Pakistan?’ in a ‘No’.

This was just my opinion on this whole escalating scenario and I believe (many of the more well acquainted Law Practicing) readers can shed some light on the outcomes of such matters. We, normal folks; have to understand that damaging somebody’s property (On a temporary basis) to teach them a lesson (Even if they are wrong) is not legally right in most cases.

Please share your feedback on this issue…

We all make mistakes in life but I believe in learning from them and that is why I have opted to become an auto-journalist. I have a tech background but I prefer to write and express my views on cars because I am petrol head.

  • Salman Ateeq

    This ‘Vandalism’ exists because of general public’s lack of confidence in the said authorities to take action against these self-proclaimed ‘elites’ who have the audacity to do as they please with a mindset in league with the Sultan of Brunei. You require more than legal advice to solve this issue in our society.

  • Retaliation / vandalism is not justified. Kutta ap ko kaatey ga to ap bhi kuttay ko kaato ge ya apne zakhm dekho ge?

    That scratched paint thing has happened to me, several times. How? Kids. Mostly kids with too much time and nothing to do. I caught a couple of them once. Called their parents, “Jee ye to bacha hai, isey kya pata. Hum ghareeb hain”. Waste of time. Nothing one can do about it – just get it repainted or buffed out if the scratches aren’t too deep.

    Case 2 – leave a polite note if you just have to let the other person know what they did to inconvenience you. Calling the cops is a bad move if you’re in Karachi. At least, I’ve always got the worst of it. Cops usually end up demanding ‘Chai paani’.

  • Usman Zafar

    Retaliation…Hell Yeah!! Have you seen the pathetic situation on our road which is getting worse day by day. Big plazas building everywhere without any parking and everyone want to park at the shop door to avoid a small walk without giving a damn about anyone else convenience. It boils my head when I see this kind of behaviors by majority of people nowadays, only solution is strict and heavy penalties to the law breakers.

  • Roony

    Most of us have no concept of ethics and have no notion of how their own actions can inconvenience others. This will not change anytime soon.

  • Do not hide my comment

    If some one is parked at a wrong place , you will call a police then the first step they will do is they will take your ID card first and then start exploring the matter , this is formal step , I will advise you to have an ERASEABLE BOARD MARKER in your car all the time , when ever you see some when has parked wrong , Go ahead , and write statements on his car’s door and bonut…This is the best and socialized way… If you will call a BLACK POLICE , they will even put you in their car and will take you to Prison instead and will make fake FIR’S over you…. Never ever look onto the Police in Pakistan , They are BADEST people on PLANET ….. always take bribe………….. But NEVER PUT A SCRATCH on any CAR , This is unethical….

  • Zulfiqar Ali Soomro

    Should call the traffic police (never the black police) or if they are not around, write a note on a piece of paper and stick it under the wipers. Best way to go.

  • Shahid Mehmood

    Before we come to this point that what triggers ppl to do such vandalism , firs think what made them to do so. Its simple n straight answer is law and order enforcement. There are certain laws for such situations like illegal or wrong parking but no one is there to implement. Most of the times i have seen traffic police hesitate to stop big cars owners specially SUVs. Coz they are more strong then the institutions and traffic police is actually right with their action. So they get frustrated and always give traffic violations ticket to small vehicle owners. The big lads who park like this they know that no one is there to stop them no one is more stronger than them. And the small fish who do so are well aware of that even if they get stuck they will give some bucks as a bribe and everything will be ok.

    But scratching someone car is a bad act this should be condemned.

  • Zuhaib Khan

    A good topic A.H but you came about it from the wrong side. Instead of chiding the person who is supposedly the offender in the first place you have gone to the affectee and ruled ANY action taken by that person as un-ethical. I think the bigger discussion should have been NOT TO PARK WRONGLY in the first place. I have been driving for almost 20 years now, I don`t know how many times anyone may be affected by Vandalism of this sort where parking was incorrect (due to own mistake), but I haven`t, ever. Its because I always take responsibility of the actions I take, hence I think 10 times before I park anywhere. Is it someone else`s property? Am I blocking a route? Can I be clipped at any end by a fast moving object like a Rikshaw/ Bike/ Tonga? If I am in any doubt or I have no other option I take time to write a note stating my number for the owner to call and inform when car needs to be moved.

    Yes if there is random Vandalism of a properly parked car I would condemn it and would want the law to take its course but tell me how many laws are there that are enforced? What to say of the law enforcement officers who will listen to your predicament with a straight face. In the end the owner will come out say, Oh SAARY PAI JAAN or maybe nothing and drive away. Not once will the officer take him to task what to say of private parking operators.

    Bhaii jiss pr guzarti hay wohi janta hay. I was a victim of such a case last week when someone at a societies office parked his Car behind my car while I went in for some paper work with elder relative. Can you imagine having to wait in the sun at 2 in the afternoon with elderly and you have to get to another place? I walked to almost 20 shops around the vicinity of different property dealers asking if they knew where the owner was. In the middle of it, some ten minutes into my search a dealer that had a shop just opposite to where we were standing admitted to MAYBE knowing the guy who owns the car but said they were trying to locate his number. He sounded half hearted so I moved on to the remaining shops, moving door to door. another 5 minutes later the helper from the shop came out and said the owner is coming. Another 10 minutes later a guy came over on a bike, sat in the car and was driving off without bothering to even offer a salutation. I had a good mind to take the air out of the cars tires half way 10 minutes earlier but the elder with me intervened and persuaded me to let it go of the matter… The guy driving off said why are you holding me responsible, I am not the owner or parked the car and yeh jaa woh jaa, I just had enough eye contact to with him to tell the owner he is the biggest “bay ghayrat”.

    People like these you know are illiterate and you can say don`t have auqat to drive a vehicle in the true sense ass they don`t know what are the rights for others. Its just the frustration that boils out. That guy had disrespected me when he parked behind my car or if anyone parks the car on someones way it shows he thinks of himself above the rest doesn`t it? Is your right to park more than my right to move at my free will? What law or penalty do you have for wasting and violating another persons time and space?

    Last time someone did that with me, I left my fist mark on his door panel almost 2 years back. either you have the courtesy of leaving me my way or I will make my way through you. Fortunately the car next to mine moved leaving me enough space to move out.

  • Zuhaib Khan

    bhaii kutta agar kaatay ga to… bhaii aisa kaunsa kutta mila hay jo kaat kr aik second mein challa jaye, woh aap ke booti nahi chorhay ga jub tuk aap haath paon na maro gay ya uss ko kissi cheez say naa jhatko gay. Katna us ko ata hay aap ko kis nay kaha katnay bhago?! aap uss ko katto gay nahi. pr baad mein kaatnay waalay kuttay ko check krnay ke liyay ke rabies nahi uss ko pakad kr kaam tamaam kia jata hay aur test ke kahi rabies to nahi iss ko.
    Kuttay ko khulla nahi chorh daytay warnah woh phir katay ga kyuke uss ko aur kuch ata nahi.

  • Guest

    People are too softy these days.

    Vandalism is a new fad. We observed that in the olden golden days, people would set the car on fire, not resort to sissy activities like scratching or writing.

    Not that I support it.

    But burning is, comparatively, more macho. Remember, there is no vandalism in hell, only fire. In other words, punishment = fire, not = vandalism.

    Can discuss about the effects though, and legal and illegal repercussions.

  • It was a metaphor, buddy. Muhawara. Matlab ke ap apne saath honay walay nuksaan ka jaiza le na ke app nuksaan karne walay ki khabar lien. Kuttay ke kaatne pe PhD dissertation nahi maanga tha.

  • Zuhaib Khan

    Bhai itnay mein PhD hojaye to mein roz ke 3 kr lo… :p

  • Guest

    On one hand each article asks for readers’ feedback, on the other hand, comments are being deleted left and right.

    Yesterday, there were more than a dozen looooong comments here. Today there are none.

    If comments need moderation, they should be, it is fine. And the edited comments should marked as “edited for abusive words” or something like that. But outright deleting the comments is a direct insult to the 2700+ readers who took their time to read the article and its comments, and to the 12+ readers who actually took the time to break their fingers on the keyboard.

    Stop deleting comments without trace or just don’t ask for them.

    Stop insulting the people who take interest in what you have to offer, they come despite the quality PW Blog is offering.

    People can accept bad English, poor choice of words, incomplete or vague articles, immature writing style, but nobody would accept insult.

  • Abdul Hanan

    There were some technical issues, which are being addressed. And as a result of these issues the comments in all the previous blogs will be imported on urgent basis.
    (The comments have not been removed/deleted by anyone)

    We do appreciate the readers feedback and the tech team is addressing to solve this issue on urgent basis.
    Regards

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